Here are some simple guidelines to prepare your stored possessions for the long, cold winter months ahead. Some preparation now will protect your belongings from any damage.
One of the commonest problems with items in long-term storage is the moisture occurring naturally in the air. So if you have an external storage unit that does not have a climate control system or dehumidifier installed then follow these steps to make sure your precious belongings remain in good condition throughout the winter:
- Clean everything as thoroughly as possible making sure any cleaning product residue is completely removed.
- Check that any item made of fabric, metal, leather or wood is not covered in plastic or bubble wrap – these impervious materials can trap moisture under the cover, which will cause damage over time. Instead cover with cotton dust sheets, paper, cardboard or even old blankets.
- Treat any leather furniture or small leather items with a leather protector to repel moisture.
- Use a wax-based conditioner on wooden furniture and smaller wooden items to protect from moisture.
- Rugs and fabric items should be rolled up with layers of acid-free tissue paper between them and covered in cotton dust sheets.
- Wrap silver items in cotton covers to avoid tarnishing. Although tarnishing will occur (as it is a natural process) you can reduce the amount of it by keeping the items covered.
Since moisture in the air can damage a wide range of materials, but especially wood, fabric, metal and leather, reducing the amount of moisture in the air will protect items for longer. If your self storage unit is not climate controlled you may want to consider investing in your own dehumidifier for extra protection if you are storing something particularly precious.